I Need Your Help to Go to Ethiopia!

People of the internet. Friends and strangers alike: I need your help.

I’m in the running to win a prize so astounding that it blows my mind: a round trip for two to Ethiopia and Zambia.

You see, in celebration of Canada Day, I put together this little video featuring 26 things – one for each letter of the alphabet – that make me proud to be Canadian. It made it to the top 5 video submissions, and now, I need votes.

Votes come via Facebook by the way of likes (1 vote), comments (2 votes), and shares (3 votes). I’m begging. I’m grovelling. I’m pleading, pathetically. PLEASE give me your likes, comments (literally ANYTHING!), and/or shares. I promise to write epic posts about my African adventures, if I’m lucky enough to win. To vote, either:

  • Visit my post to the Ethiopian Airlines Canada Facebook page here; or
  • Visit the Ethiopian Airlines Canada Facebook page and like the post they made sharing my (Magee Walker’s) video (you may have to scroll down a bit)

I worked hard to make this video, running around Squamish and Whistler with my trusty cameraman, Cedric. Here are a few stories behind some of my favourite shots.

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Z is for Zamboni – that’s a no brainer. The larger challenge involved gaining access to a Zamboni. I figured there were two places I could access a Zambo: Meadow Park in Whistler or Brennan Park in Squamish. I thought my best bet might be to go before a hockey game or something and catch a shot of the Zamboni going by in the background, with me in the foreground off the ice. The only problem was that I wasn’t sure how often Zambonis went out on the ice (especially in summer) – I thought maybe I’d just go camp out and wait for one to emerge.

I then remembered I had a friend who worked at Meadow Park for awhile, so I thought I’d ask her about the Zamboni’s schedule. I was talking to Cedric about my plan when he told me that he KNEW THE GUY who drove the Zamboni. I’m not sure why he has withheld this vital information from me for the past four years. Cedric made a few calls, and before I knew it, I was getting a Zamboni driving tutorial.

I only drove the Zambo – I didn’t actually do anything to the ice – and it was quite easy, kind of like driving a golf cart. I was most impressed at the turning radius of the machine.

This was actually the very first shot we filmed – we drove all the way to Whistler just to do it. Totally worth it.

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Y is a bit of a tricky letter (along with Q, X, and U – shout out to my sister for coming up with “Universal Healthcare” because I was going to do “Umbrella”, which I knew was lame). The only thing I could come up with was Youppi – you know, the old mascot of the defunct Montreal Expos? I have fond memories of looking at these little Youppi figurines at my aunt’s/#1 commenter’s house when I was little, and even though Youppi has since retired, I thought it represented a nice little bit of Canadian nostalgia.

Cedric wasn’t fond of Y is for Youppi. I began to doubt my choice – is it possible that most other Canadians didn’t associate the fuzzy little orange guy with childhood memories? In the end, I stayed loyal to Youppi – partly because I didn’t have any other ideas for Y.

(Got any better ones? Comment with Y ideas on my video – heheh, see what I did there?)

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Maybe one day I will write a post about my experience volunteering at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games (in brief, it was THE BEST TIME EVER!) Experiencing the Olympics in my own (adopted) hometown and getting to participate behind the scenes was something that made me feel ridiculously proud to be Canadian. It only made sense to include it in my alphabet, and the fact that a good portion of the Games (and all of my volunteer shifts) took place in Whistler made it easy to access some Olympic paraphernalia, such as these large Olympic rings.

The thing is, these rings are a highly desirable photo background for tourists. Nabbing a shot requires waiting in a disorganized queue as people hop in and out to take their photos.

When I filmed the scenes, I actually filmed two takes for each one: one where I did an action silently (which is what I ended up picking), and one where I talked (e.g., I’d shout “R is for Red Olympic Mittens!”) This was no big deal for the majority of shots, but it felt super weird to do when there were other people around – such as the small crowd amassed around these Olympic rings.

But you gotta do what you gotta do.

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I’m kind of happy that the alphabet begins with A because it means I got to start off the video with a bit of humour. In case you couldn’t tell, I made that amazing poster myself (shout out to WordArt for still existing).

This shot was really all about the mustache, of course. I hit up the dollar store and found a killer deal (6 mustaches for $1! Who would have thought!).

I Googled Alex Trebek to select the mustache that most resembled his own – and this is when I remembered that Trebek has actually shaved his mustache in recent years. Doing an Alex Trebek impersonation without a mustache wasn’t an option, so I kept it in anyways.

The dollar store mustaches were black – mine had to be more salt and pepper (no offense, Alex). Solution: roll the mustache in flour. Voila – a Trebek-worthy mustache!

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When I lived in Whistler, one of my go-to runs was to go from Alpine along Alta Lake Road (killer hills), pop in at Rainbow Park, and then run around Alta Lake. There is all kinds of random stuff along the way – including a pair of massive Muskoka Chairs.

When I was crafting my Canadian alphabet, these chairs popped into my mind – only I couldn’t remember exactly where they were on Alta Lake. We parked at Lakeside Park and took off clockwise, passing Wayside Park along the way. About 10 or 15 minutes later, we found them, tucked behind the sailing club. Best chairs ever.


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